Coronavirus Omicron India December 27 Highlights: EC asks Health Secretary to expedite vaccination programme in poll-bound states

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Coronavirus Omicron Variant Cases in India December 27 Highlights: The number of cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Coronavirus stands at 578 in India.

Coronavirus Omicron India Live Updates Crowded Sarojini Nagar market in Delhi
Coronavirus Omicron India Dec 27 highlights: Crowded Sarojini Nagar market amid rising cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

Coronavirus Vaccine Registration, Coronavirus Omicron Variant Cases in India Dec 27 Highlights: India saw the highest single day rise of Omicron infections with 156 fresh cases, taking the total tally of such cases to 578, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

The 578 cases have been detected across 19 states and UTs with Delhi recording the maximum number of 142 cases followed by Maharashtra at 141, Kerala 57, Gujarat 49, Rajasthan 43 and Telangana 41.

India to start vaccination for children belonging to the age group 15-18 years from January 3

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation Saturday informed that the country is prepared to face a new surge of Covid-19 cases with 18 lakh isolation beds, 5 lakh oxygen supported beds. 1.4 lakh ICU beds and 90, 000 special beds for children. Moreover, there are 3,000 functional PSA Oxygen plants and 4 lakh Oxygen cylinders have been provided to all states.

The PM announced that India will soon start vaccination for children belonging to the age group 15-18 years from January 3 and booster doses for healthcare and frontline workers from January 10, ‘precaution dose’ for 60 years of age. Nasal vaccine and world’s first DNA based vaccine will be available for administering soon.

Also Read | Covid-19 Vaccines for Kids: How to register your child for vaccination on CoWIN? Know details here

Night curfew in Delhi from Monday over rising Covid cases

Night curfew will be imposed in Delhi from 11 pm on Monday, restricting movement of individuals except those in exempted categories, due to rising COVID-19 cases and the threat posed by Omicron, according to a DDMA order. The night curfew will be in place from 11 pm to 5 am till further orders, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) said.

Those exempted from the curfew include government officials, judges and judicial officers, medical personnel, pregnant women and patients, people going on feet to buy essential items, media persons, and people going to or returning from railway stations, bus stops and airports. Only exempted-category people will be allowed in Metro trains and public transport buses during the night curfew hours, the DDMA order stated. | Read More

Watch this space for more updates on Omicron cases, fresh curbs from India and around the globe:

Live Updates

Coronavirus India Live News: New Omicron Variant Symptoms and Cases in India, Coronavirus Vaccine Registration Latest Update, Covid-19 India Latest News Live

10:40 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 3,481 kids orphaned during Covid pandemic to get benefits under PM CARES for Children scheme

Of 6,098 applications received under the 'PM CARES for Children' scheme, 3,481 children orphaned during the COVID-19 pandemic have been approved as eligible for its benefits, the government said on Monday. In a statement, the Ministry of Women and Child Development said as per the PM CARES for children portal, total applications registered as on December 24 is 6,098, out of which 3,481 applications have been approved by district magistrates. It also said post office accounts have been opened for 3,275 beneficiaries under the scheme. Under the scheme, a quantum of sponsorship of Rs 2,000 per child per month is available for non-institutional care of children and maintenance grant of Rs 2,160 per child per month for children living in child care institutions. The ministry also said 704 ‘One Stop Centers' or ‘Sakhi Centers' have been set up across 34 states/UTs. Women affected by violence and in need of assistance, medical and legal aid and counseling and psycho-social counseling are being helped and as on December 24, assistance has been provided to over 54 lakh women. Meanwhile, a meeting of the Empowered Committee (EC) of Officers was held wherein the status of implementation of earlier approved projects/schemes funded by the Nirbhaya fund was reviewed. The ministry said the EC had approved 'in-principle' 16 initiatives to be undertaken for safety and security of women on various aspects such as training of duty bearers, drivers, mental health, lighting of dark spots, providing timely victim compensation, police assistance booth, relief and shelter support to minor girls, among others. “Further, during current financial year 2021-22, two proposals worth Rs 114.89 crore were approved for opening One Stop Centers (OSCs) in India Missions abroad, Rs 40.79 crore for critical care and support for accessing justice to rape/gang-rape survivors and minor girls who get pregnant, among others, the ministry added. (PTI)

10:31 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Chhattisgarh records 49 fresh cases, 1 death

Chhattisgarh's COVID-19 count reached 10,07,672 on Monday with an addition of 49 new cases, while the death toll rose to 13,598 after one more patient succumbed to the infection in the state, an official said. The recovery count increased to 9,93,729 after 10 people were discharged from hospitals and 23 completed home isolation during the day, leaving the state with 345 active cases, he said. No fresh cases were reported in 19 districts, he said. (PTI)

10:11 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Italy logs 30,810 new Covid-19 cases


10:00 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Health Secretary to conduct meeting on new vaccination guidelines
Union Health Secy Rajesh Bhushan to conduct meeting with States/UTs chief secretaries and medical officers on vaccination of 15-18 years old & precaution dose to health care, frontline workers and for seniors above 60 with comorbidities: Official Sources
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
9:30 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: India sees highest single day rise of Omicron infections

India reported over 150 fresh Omicron infections with Goa and Manipur on Monday registering their first cases as the total tally of this latest variant of COVID-19 touched nearly 600. With the surge in cases, the Centre issued a fresh advisory to all states and union territories, asking them not to let the guard down. According to Union Health Ministry data updated in the morning, 156 fresh cases of Omicron were logged, taking the tally of such cases to 578. However, 151 out of the 578 people, who contracted the infection, have recovered or migrated. The 578 cases have been detected across 19 states and union territories with Delhi recording the maximum number of 142 cases followed by Maharashtra at 141, Kerala 57, Gujarat 49, Rajasthan 43 and Telangana 41. India's total tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 3,47,93,333, while the active cases declined to 75,841, according to the data updated at 8 am. The death toll has climbed to 4,79,997 with 315 fresh fatalities, the data stated. (PTI)

9:17 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Expedite vaccination programme in poll-bound states: EC to health secy

The Election Commission on Monday assessed the COVID-19 situation in the five poll-bound states with the Union health secretary and asked the government to expedite vaccination programme there. The commission noted that the percentage of those administered the first dose of coronavirus vaccine was still less in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Manipur, while it was nearing 100 per cent in Uttarakhand and Goa. The poll panel also asked Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan to expedite administering second dose to those eligible in these five election-bound states, highly-placed sources said. In a separate meeting with enforcement agencies and central forces, the poll panel asked the top brass of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) to check the influence of drugs in elections. The Election Commission (EC) pressed upon top officials of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for maintaining strict vigil on international borders some of the poll-going states share. Sources aware of the meetings said Health Secretary Bhushan briefed the poll panel for nearly an hour on the Covid situation in the country, especially in poll-bound Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. The issue of spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was also discussed. The commission assessed the situation based on statistics provided by the health ministry, a functionary said. The health secretary also briefed the EC about the Covid protocols and home ministry guidelines issued in the recent past to check the spread of the virus. During the interaction with officials of the NCB, the ITBP, the SSB and the BSF, the poll panel asked the Narcotics Control Bureau to ensure drugs do not influence polls. The commission “in particular” referred to Punjab and Goa with regard to drug smuggling, the sources said. The terms of Goa, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Manipur legislative assemblies are ending on different dates in March next year while the Uttar Pradesh assembly's term will end in May. The EC is expected to announce election dates next month. On Tuesday, the chief election commissioner (CEC) and fellow election commissioners are scheduled to visit Uttar Pradesh to take stock of the poll preparedness in the state. An Allahabad High Court bench of Justice Shekhar Yadav had on Thursday last urged the government and the poll panel to consider postponing the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections for a month or two and banning all political rallies amid the fears of an impending third wave of Covid. When asked about the observation, CEC Sushil Chandra had said in Dehradun on Friday that the EC would be visiting Uttar Pradesh soon and “an appropriate decision as required by the situation will be taken after we review it.” The commission has already visited Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand as part of its pre-poll stock-taking exercise. (PTI)

8:55 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Telangana records 12 new Omicron cases
#covid19 | Telangana reports 12 new Omicron cases in the last 24 hours taking the total number of cases reaches 55 in which 10 have been completely recovered and discharged from the state-run TIMS hospital
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
8:46 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Karnataka announces night curfew from Dec 28
Karnataka govt imposes night curfew (10 pm to 5 am) in the state from Dec 28 until Jan 7, in view of the rising #omicron cases: Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
8:31 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 111 new COVID-19 cases in J&K

Jammu and Kashmir recorded 111 fresh COVID-19 cases and one fatality due to the virus in the last 24 hours, bringing the infection count to 3,40,833 and the death toll to 4,524, officials said on Monday. Thirty-two of the fresh cases were from the Jammu division and 79 from the Kashmir division of the Union territory, the officials said. They said Srinagar district recorded a maximum of 38 new cases, followed by 21 cases in Jammu district. The Union Territory now has 1,333 active COVID-19 cases, while the count of recoveries stands at 3,34,976, the officials said. The mucormycosis (black fungus) infection count in the UT remained unchanged at 50 as no fresh case was reported, they said. (PTI)

8:22 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 28 more students of Maharashtra school test Covid-19 positive
Maharashtra | 28 more students & 3 staff members of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Ahmednagar district have tested positive for COVID-19, taking the number of such cases at the institute to 82, a health department official said.
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
8:10 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: HRAWI issues advisory to members on strictly following guidelines notified by Maha govt

Amid the surge in Omicron cases, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) on Monday said it has issued an advisory to its members on strictly following guidelines notified by the Maharashtra government. The advisory requests all F&B (food and beverages) establishments to display prominently, as per their licences or permissions, the full capacity along with 50 per cent of that capacity, HRAWI said in a statement. For the enclosed spaces, it said the total number of attendees at any time should not exceed 100 and for open to sky spaces, 250 or 25 per cent of the capacity. HRAWI President Sherry Bhatia said, “The Omicron threat is real and we must support the government in curbing its spread. This is in the interest of not just the government but also to ensure that we do not go under another lockdown.” Bhatia added that the hospitality industry has been compliant with the government's guidelines all through the pandemic and even at this juncture, it will be critical not to let the guard down even for a moment. “We request all our members that we commit to ensuring our own safety and thereby our guests' for ushering in the New Year by not letting this virus win,” Bhatia said. (PTI)

8:05 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Haryana logs 2 more Omicron cases
Haryana reports two more cases of #omicron variant of COVID19: Health department
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
7:47 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Manipur detects its first omicron case
#covid19 | First Omicron case detected in Manipur after a person, who returned from Tanzania tested positive for it, officials said.
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
7:39 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Mumbai records 809 new Covid-19 cases
#covid19 | 809 new cases, 335 recoveries and, 3 deaths reported in Mumbai today. Active cases 4,765
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
7:27 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Uttarakhand announces night curfew from today
Uttarakhand | In view of the new #omicronvariant, state govt imposes night curfew (11:00 pm to 5:00 am) from today till further orders; essential services to continue: State Police
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) December 27, 2021
7:20 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Singapore must expect a new wave of COVID, cautions Minister

Singapore must expect a new wave of COVID-19 cases in the coming days and weeks, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said on Monday, adding that extensive preparations have been made for this anticipated wave. “It is inevitable that Omicron will spread in our community as it has in countries everywhere,” said Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force on COVID-19, in a Facebook post on Monday. “But we have done whatever we can to prepare for this next wave, and we can weather through it together as one people,” The Straits Times quoted Wong as saying. When the Omicron variant emerged last month, the authorities initially adopted a more cautious containment approach to slow down its spread and learn more about it, he said. It has been found that Omicron is likely to be more transmissible but less severe than the Delta variant, and that current vaccines and boosters are effective in protecting against severe illnesses caused by Omicron, he added. The authorities are now adjusting protocols to manage Omicron cases in the same way as for Delta ones, said Wong. For instance, Omicron cases or close contacts can recover under the home recovery programme instead of being isolated at dedicated facilities. “We will then prioritise our healthcare resources for the more severe cases, as well as those who are more vulnerable,” he said. Wong encouraged the public to get vaccinated to avoid restrictions on their movements, including not being able to go to the office. The MOH announced on Sunday that unvaccinated workers will not be allowed to return to the workplace from January 15 next year, even with a negative COVID-19 test. The move is meant to bolster Singapore's protection against a large wave of local Omicron cases and keep workplaces here safe, the MOH said. (PTI)

7:10 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: No. of Covid cases to increase in Delhi in next two months; peak likely in Feb, say experts

With the number of fresh COVID-19 cases going up by 10 times from what it was at the beginning of the month in Delhi, experts on Monday said the number of cases will see an increase in the next couple of months due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with the peak likely to be attained in February. Delhi reported 290 fresh Covid cases on Sunday with a positivity rate of 0.55 per cent, while the number of new cases and the positivity rate rose to 331 and 0.68 per cent respectively on Monday. The national capital reported 39 fresh cases of the infection with a positivity rate of 0.07 per cent on December 1. The following day, the positivity rate had declined to 0.06 per cent, while the number of fresh cases was 41. Between December 9 and December 15, Delhi logged 48 daily cases on an average, which rose to 95 between December 16 and December 22. According to official data, it was a rise of 49.47 per cent on a weekly basis. Epidemiologist Giridhar R Babu said, “It is very unlikely that the number of cases has risen due to the festive season because in that case, the impact would have been seen 14 days after Diwali in November and the number of cases would have risen by November-end. The number is rising due to the Omicron variant, which is highly transmissible. The cases will see a rapid ascent and a rapid descent and the peak is likely to come between mid-January and mid-February.” Dr Jugal Kishore, the head of the community medicine department at the Safdarjung hospital, said the number of coronavirus cases and the positivity rate are bound to increase, but will not translate into mortality. “What we can say is that 60 per cent to 70 per cent of the present cases could be related to Omicron, while the rest could be due to other variants. The transmission occurs because of proximity. In winter, people are indoors and meeting each other in a close-knit environment, and even the number of influenza cases rises during this period,” he said. The senior doctor also said till the time the panic button is not pressed and the situation is managed well, there will not be any issue. “All kinds of disasters are results of a system failure. The government should formulate guidelines on proper management. Those who are suffering from issues like a severe headache or fever should go to hospitals while the rest should manage at home and should not even go for testing. After testing positive, the person will panic trying to grab hospital beds and medicines,” he said. Babu said those who have not been vaccinated and have not been infected with the virus are more susceptible and it is that population that needs to be looked after. Kishore echoed similar views and said while vaccination does not mean one would not contract the infection, it certainly reduces the severity of the infection. (PTI)

7:01 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: TN seeks Centre’s nod to announce Omicron confirmed cases

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday requested the Centre to grant the state permission, as a special case, to announce Omicron confirmed cases rather than wait for reports from the National Institute of Virology, owing to its expertise in whole genome sequencing. Reiterating the demand for necessary approvals, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ma Subramanian claimed that by the time the NIV confirmed the samples, those testing positive in the state get discharged after treatment. “Practically, by the time the samples get confirmed, those who test positive get treated and are discharged from the hospital,” he said while talking to reporters here. Hence, the Centre should grant permission to Tamil Nadu, as a special case, to enable it provide daily updates on the Omicron cases, he argued. (PTI)

6:53 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Kerala logs 1,636 fresh COVID-19 cases, 236 deaths

Kerala continued to report less than 2,000 fresh COVID-19 cases for the second day running with the state logging 1,636 new infections on Monday, which took the caseload to 52,24,929 till date. Also, the State reported 236 deaths, which raised the toll to 46,822 so far, an official press release said. Of the 236 deaths, 23 were recorded over the last few days and 213 designated as COVID-19 deaths after receiving appeals based on the new guidelines of the Centre and the directions of the Supreme Court. With 2,864 more people recovering from the virus since Sunday, the total recoveries reached 51,68,028 and the active cases dropped to 21,224, the release said. (PTI)

6:42 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Odisha preparing to administer Covid vaccines to over 25 lakh children

The Odisha government is gearing up for vaccinating over 25 lakh children in the age group of 15-18 years against COVID-19, a senior official said.

Director of Family Welfare and state vaccination in-charge Dr Bijay Panigrahi said registration for 25.53 lakh children will soon begin on the COWIN portal, and camps will be held in schools and colleges for the vaccination drive. “We are yet to receive the guidelines on the type of vaccine and number of doses to be administered to them. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has granted emergency use authorisation to Bharat Biotech's Covaxin and Zydus Cadila's ZyCoV–D for children above 12 years,” he said. “We are well prepared for the vaccination exercise, but await the official guidelines to take a decision on how to go about it,” Panigrahi said. He also said over seven lakh frontline workers will be administered booster doses. “We have 52.37 lakh people in the 60-plus age group, but only those with comorbidities will be able to take the third dose…,” he added. Replying a question, Panigrahi said about 29 lakh people in the state haven't taken the first dose yet. Over 2.89 crore people in Odisha have so far been inoculated with the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 1.98 crore beneficiaries received both the jabs. (PTI)

6:34 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Maharashtra cabinet pushes for increase in vaccination pace as COVID-19 cases rise

The Maharashtra cabinet on Monday expressed concern over the rising COVID-19 cases in the state and stressed on the need to expedite the pace of vaccination and effective steps to curb the spread of coronavirus, whose new variant Omicron is causing fresh worries. The number of active cases has increased by nearly 50 per cent in the last 20 days, the cabinet was told at its meeting here. As on December 26, the state had 9,813 active cases of the infectious disease. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who virtually joined the meeting held in Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, asked for a meeting of state COVID-19 task force in a day or two to review the prevailing coronavirus situation. A statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said Thackeray suggested strict vigilance and effective steps to curb the spread of the virus. The statement said the cabinet expressed concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases in the last few days. Health secretary Pradeep Vyas made a presentation before the cabinet in which he said a further rise in the number of active cases is expected in January, according to the statement. The need of the hour is to expedite the pace of vaccination, the senior bureaucrat said, adding a few days ago, eight lakh vaccine doses were being administered to people in a day in the state, but that number has now come down to 5 lakh shots. The health secretary said on December 8, there were 6,200 active cases of coronavirus in Maharashtra and currently, their count has shot up to around 10,000. “In the last 20 days, the number of active cases has risen by nearly 50 per cent. Also, in the last six days, the number of daily cases has seen a three-fold rise,” he said. The state's COVID-19 positivity rate is 1.06 per cent, Vyas said. On December 26, the state reported 1,648 new cases. The statement said the Chief Minister at the meeting directed all guardian ministers to expedite vaccination in their respective districts. (PTI)

6:25 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Health Ministry issues guidelines for Covid-19 vaccination
Union Health Ministry issues guidelines for COVID19 vaccination of children between 15-18 years, precaution dose to health care & frontline workers, and 60+ population with comorbidities
— ANI (@ANI) December 27, 2021
6:21 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: AP logs 54 fresh COVID-19 cases, no deaths

Andhra Pradesh on Monday reported 54 fresh COVID-19 cases, the lowest ever during the second wave, taking the cumulative infections to 20,76,546, while the toll remained at 14,490 as there were no fatalities. Active cases stood at 1,099, a Health department bulletin said, providing details of the last 24 hours ending 9 AM today. As many as 121 people recovered from the disease leaving the total number of recoveries at 20,60,957, the bulletin said. Nearly 18,000 samples were tested during the last 24 hours. The total number of samples tested so far is over 3.11 crore. Chittoor district topped the chart with highest number of active cases with 248 followed by East Godavari (137). (PTI)

6:10 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: One new COVID-19 case in Sikkim, tally rises to 32,481

Sikkim's COVID-19 tally rose to 32,481 on Monday as one more person tested positive for the infection, a health bulletin said. The Himalayan state's coronavirus death toll of 409 remained unchanged as no fresh fatality was registered, it said, adding that the new case was recorded in East Sikkim district. Sikkim now has 55 active cases, while 31,675 people have recovered from the infection, and 342 patients have migrated to other states so far. The recovery rate among the coronavirus patients in the state stood at 99 per cent. The state has tested 2,78,758 samples for COVID-19 so far, it added. (PTI)

6:01 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: No need for statewide night curfew now, says Odisha health official

The Odisha government on Monday said there is no need to impose restrictions such as night curfew and lockdown across the state as of now amid concerns over the detection of eight cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in the coastal state. Night curfew is in force in all urban areas of the state from 10 pm to 5 am. State's Public Health Director Niranjan Mishra told journalists here, “Currently, the situation is not conducive for imposing the curbs. Lockdown or night curfew is clamped after considering factors such as the number of daily cases, test positivity rate, total active cases, and hospitalisation rate.” Odisha has already banned public celebrations to ring in the New Year. Referring to the details of the Omicron cases detected in the state thus far, the top health official said, 18 international passengers had tested positive for COVID-19 through RT-PCR tests. “Their samples were sent for genome sequencing, and eight of them were found to be infected with Omicron variant. “The health condition of all the Omicron-infected patients is stable. Most of them were either asymptomatic or had mild symptoms,” Mishra said. On Monday, Odisha logged 123 new coronavirus cases, taking the tally to 10,54,004, the health department said in a bulletin. The COVID-19 death toll mounted to 8,453, with another patient succumbing to the infection in Khurda district. Besides, 53 COVID-19 patients died due to comorbidities in the past, the bulletin said. Seventeen children were among the 123 new infections logged on Monday. The state, at present, has 1,572 active cases and 144 people recuperated from the disease on Sunday, taking the total number of recoveries to 10,43,926. Odisha has conducted a total of 55,084 sample tests for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, and the daily positivity rate is 0.22 per cent, it said. On Sunday, Odisha had reported 112 new COVID-19 cases and one fatality. More than 2.89 crore people have been inoculated with the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and 1.98 crore beneficiaries have been administered the second jab, it added. (PTI)

5:55 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Gujarat CM makes surprise visit to hospital amid rise in Covid-19 cases

Amid the increasing COVID-19 cases in Gujarat, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel paid a surprise visit to the Gandhinagar civil hospital on Monday morning and inquired about the facilities there and treatment provided to patients. (PTI)

5:46 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: 13 students of Pune college test positive for coronavirus

At least 13 students of an engineering college in Pune city of Maharashtra have tested positive for coronavirus, an official from the institution said on Monday. (PTI)

5:39 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Israel trials 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Israel has begun trials of a fourth dose of coronavirus vaccine in what is believed to be the first study of its kind. The trial began at Sheba Medical Center, outside Tel Aviv, with 150 medical personnel who received a booster dose in August receiving a fourth shot of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. The staff receiving the additional dose were tested and found to have low antibody levels. The trial came as Israeli officials have considered rolling out a second tranche of booster shots to its population as the country grapples with rising infections with the new omicron variant. Prof. Jacob Lavee, former director of the heart transplant unit at Sheba, said “hopefully, we'll be able to show here… that this fourth booster really provides protection against the omicron, which is highly needed.” Israel rolled out a world-leading vaccination campaign early this year. Just over 4.2 million of Israel's 9.3 million people have received a third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Israel has recorded at least 8,242 deaths from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. (AP)

5:28 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Traders in Delhi fear closure of shops amid rise in Covid cases

With the COVID-19 positivity rate going beyond 0.5 per cent in Delhi on Sunday and a steady rise in the number of Omicron cases, the traders of the city are worried as they fear that their establishments may be shut under a “yellow” alert, if announced by the government in the coming days. The business fraternity of the national capital is in a state of panic as it urged the Delhi government on Monday to consider two other indicators as well — the number of fresh coronavirus cases and that of the oxygen beds occupied — before announcing a “yellow” alert. Under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) prepared by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in July, a “yellow” (level-1) alert will be sounded if when the Covid positivity rate crosses 0.5 per cent for two consecutive days or the number of fresh cases goes up to 1,500 for seven days or the oxygenated bed occupancy reaches 500 for seven days. Brijesh Goyal, the chairman of the Chamber of Trade and Industries (CTI), an umbrella body of traders from different industries, said if the positivity rate goes beyond 0.5 per cent on Monday too, then the GRAP is likely to kick in, under which many restrictions will be imposed in Delhi's markets and business establishments. “Many activities and businesses will stop as soon as the yellow alert is issued. We have written a letter to the DDMA and requested it that the GRAP yellow alert should be applicable only when 1,500 coronavirus cases are reported in Delhi. “We have also requested the DDMA to consider the condition of traders before imposing any restrictions under the GRAP,” Goyal told PTI. He said according to medical experts, though the number of Covid cases is increasing in the city, it is in a controlled condition currently. “Delhi has not recorded 1,500 Covid cases for seven consecutive days and neither the average occupancy of beds is 500. In such a situation, the restrictions under the first phase of the GRAP should not be imposed,” Goyal said. If a “yellow” alert is sounded, then cinema halls, theatres, banquet halls, gymnasiums, spas and entertainment parks will remain closed and markets will function on an odd-even basis. A night curfew, closure of schools and colleges, halved seating capacity in metro trains and buses, closure of non-essential shops and shopping malls are also among the measures that will kick in with a “yellow” alert. (PTI)

5:21 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine behind lower COVID deaths in UK, says expert

Britain's early deployment of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to protect against COVID-19 may be responsible for the country's lower death rates compared to other European countries, a UK vaccines expert has said. Dr Clive Dix, former chairman of the UK's Vaccine Task Force, told the ‘Daily Telegraph' that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – manufactured and administered in India as Covishield – may offer stronger long-term protection against severe COVID-19 and death. “If you look across Europe, with the rise in cases, there's also a corresponding lagged rise in deaths, but not in the UK, and we have to understand that,” said Dr Dix. “I personally believe that's because most of our vulnerable people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said. According to Our World in Data, a website run by the University of Oxford, the UK has 1.7 daily deaths from COVID per million people. In comparison, the European Union (EU) as a whole has almost four. The key, Dix believes, is that although the RNA jabs such as Pfizer/BioNTech produce a more obvious and rapid jump in antibody levels in lab tests, other vaccines may be better at priming another part of the immune system called cellular immunity. This includes various forms of T cells, including those that destroy infected cells, and also memory cells, ensuring a person can fight off an infection several years after they are first exposed to it. They are slower to react than antibodies and do not prevent infection, but do halt the pathogen in its tracks, making it harder for the virus to cause damage. The only notable difference, according to the scientist, between the UK and Europe's vaccine rollout was the approach to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab. European regulators approved the use of the vaccine long after the UK had rolled it out among its older age groups at the end of last year. While MRNA vaccines like those made by Pfizer are based on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to produce highly specific antibodies, AstraZeneca (Covishield), and other vaccines like those made by Novavax and Valneva use a wider approach. (PTI)

5:11 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Delhi records 331 Covid cases, highest daily count since June 9

Delhi on Monday recorded 331 fresh COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise since June 9, and one death while the positivity rate mounted to 0.68 per cent, according to data shared by the city health department. The death toll due to the coronavirus infection in Delhi rose to 25,106. On Sunday, Delhi recorded 290 cases with a positivity rate of 0.55 per cent and one fatality, according to officials figures. On Saturday and Friday, the daily case counts had stood at 249 and 180 cases respectively.

On Monday, it jumped to 331 cases with a positivity rate of 0.68 per cent, according to the latest health bulletin. This rise is the highest since June 9 when 337 cases were logged with a positivity rate of 0.46 per cent, while 36 deaths were also recorded on that day. The number of cumulative cases on Monday stood at 14,43,683. Over 14.17 lakh patients have recovered from the infection. The spike in fresh cases in the last few days is being recorded amid a jump in cases of new Omicron variant of the coronavirus here. Seven COVID-19 deaths were reported here in November this year, according to official data. Delhi had recorded four Covid deaths in October and five in September. A total of 48,589 tests — 46,549 RT-PCR tests and 2,040 rapid antigen tests — were conducted a day ago, the bulletin said. (PTI)

5:00 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Omicron Live Tracker: Samples of 164 contacts of 9 Omicron infected people in MP sent for tests

The Indore health department in Madhya Pradesh has sent for tests samples of 164 people, who came in contact with nine people found infected with the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, an official said on Monday. Out of these 164 people, if anyone tests positive for coronavirus, then that person's sample will be sent to the National Centre for Disease Control for genome sequencing to ascertain if the person is infected with the Omicron variant, Indore's Chief Medical and Health Officer Dr B S Saitya said. Of the nine people found infected with Omicron here after return from abroad, seven have recovered and gone back home from hospital, he said. “The other two patients are admitted in different hospitals here and their health condition is stable,” the official said. In the last 24 hours, 14 people tested positive for the coronavirus in Indore, taking the district's infection tally to 1,53,572. Out of them, 1,395 people have so far died due to viral infection, he said. (PTI)

4:00 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: BMC Commissioner calls a meeting with Health and Ward officers over rising number of Covid-19 and Omicron cases

Maharashtra | Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Iqbal Chahal has called a meeting today with Health and Ward officers on the rising number of Covid-19 and Omicron cases (ANI)

3:46 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Three Omicron cases – two in Jaipur and one in Udaipur- detected in Rajasthan today

Three Omicron cases – two in Jaipur and one in Udaipur- detected in Rajasthan today. Till now, a total of 46 Omicron cases have been found in the State. Of these 37 patients have recovered: State government (ANI)

3:25 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Goa reports first Omicron case

Goa reports first Omicron case: Eight-year-old boy, who arrived in Goa from UK, found infected with new coronavirus variant, says state Health Minister Vishwajit Rane(PTI)

2:46 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Why India is administering ‘precautionary’ shots and who are qualified for it

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced the third dose of Covid-19 vaccine for healthcare and frontline workers and ‘precautionary dose’ for those above the age of 60 years. As the second kind starts administering on January 10 beneficiaries above the age of 60 years with associated comorbidities and those who got their second vaccine dose nine months ago are qualified for the same. | Read More

2:33 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: I am confident that Himachal Pradesh will lead in achieving vaccination coverage, says PM

Our government has announced COVID-19 vaccination for 15-18-year-olds from January 3, 2022, and 'precaution dose' for healthcare workers and senior citizens with comorbidities from January 10. I am confident that Himachal Pradesh will lead in achieving vaccination coverage: PM (ANI)

2:10 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Here’s why India gears up for this ‘precautionary dose’

The World Health Organisation has stated that the booster doses of covid vaccines should be introduced based on firm evidence, for those groups who are at higher risk of serious infection and for the frontline workers. The evidence till date indicates “minimal to modest” reduction of protection provided by the vaccine against the disease over six months after the second dose of vaccine. | Read More

1:55 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Omicron in Mumbai – BMC bans all New Year celebrations in hotels, pubs, bars, privately-owned places

In the wake of rising threat of the Omicron variant, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has banned the celebrations of New Year across the city. The municipal body has taken the major step in a bid to contain the spread of Coronavirus infection. Earlier, the Delhi government in a similar decision had banned the Christmas and New Year celebrations in the national capital to prevent the rise of Coronavirus cases. | Read More

1:30 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: ECI and Union Health Ministry discus rising number of COVID19 cases, especially in States going for Assembly elections

In today's meeting, ECI and Union Health Ministry discussed the rising number of COVID19 (Omicron) cases across India and vaccine coverage, especially in States going for Assembly elections next year. ECI and Health Ministry will hold another meeting in January 2022. (ANI)

1:20 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: National Directives for COVID-19 management to continue to be strictly followed throughout the country till January 31, says Ministry of Home Affairs to States/UTs

1:08 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: CoWIN platform Chief explains cncept of precaution dose

The process will be exactly the same. If you are above 60 years of age and have taken both doses and the gap between the second dose and the day you are registering is more than 9 months (39 weeks) then you are eligible: Dr RS Sharma, CoWIN platform Chief on precaution dose (ANI)

12:58 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Covid vaccination mandatory in Singapore from February 2022

Singapore has made Covid vaccination a mandatory condition for the approval of new applications for work passes, long-term passes and permanent residence in Singapore from February 1 next year.

Those renewing their work passes will also have to be vaccinated, The Straits Times reported, citing the multi-ministry task force (MMTF) on Covid.

The new order will not apply to children aged below 12 and those who are medically ineligible for vaccination, it said.

The new measure, announced on Sunday, is a part of the nation's adjustments to dealing with the Omicron variant.

“These measures will help sustain our high vaccination rates and facilitate the safe reopening of our society and economy,” the Singapore daily quoting the MMTF said.

At the point of application, employers will have to make a declaration that their work pass holders and dependants are fully vaccinated upon arrival in Singapore.

Work pass holders must submit or present their vaccination certificates as part of the verification process.

Those with digitally verifiable certificates will have to upload them to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's Vaccination Check Portal system.

Those without digitally verifiable certificates will have to present their vaccination certificates to airlines or ferry operators, or at the checkpoint, before boarding.

People who cannot produce the necessary documents will not be allowed to board the plane or enter Singapore, unless prior exemptions have been granted.

Individuals who were vaccinated overseas must update their vaccination records in the National Immunisation Registry (NIR) and will be given a grace period of 30 days upon arrival in Singapore to undergo and show a positive serology test result taken at a public health preparedness clinic.

“Should they test negative, they will be required to complete the full vaccination regimen in Singapore or their passes may be revoked,” the task force said.

As for dependents of work pass holders, the vaccination condition will not apply to children aged below 12.

Pass holders who are medically ineligible for vaccination will have to submit a doctor's memo at the point of application and undergo a medical review upon arrival in Singapore.

Those applying for permanent residence, student passes and long-term visit passes will have their vaccination status verified when their passes are issued.

Their vaccination records will have to be updated in the NIR.

If applicants are unvaccinated or vaccinated overseas but test serology negative, an indication that the body has not produced antibodies in response to vaccination, they will have to complete the full vaccination regimen in Singapore to fulfil the vaccination condition before they can be granted permanent residence or long-term passes.

The vaccination condition will not apply to permanent residence, long-term visit pass and student pass applicants for those who are aged below 12 years old, as well as those who are medically ineligible for vaccination.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has warned that unvaccinated workers will no longer be allowed to return to the workplace from January 15, even if they have a negative pre-event testing (PET) result.

The ministry had said in October that unvaccinated people would not be allowed to enter the workplace from January 2022, unless they had tested negative for COVID-19.

“Following the review and discussion with tripartite partners, we have decided to remove the PET concession for unvaccinated persons to return to the workplace from January 15, 2022,” the Channel News Asia quoting the MoH said.

Partially vaccinated workers, those who have taken at least one dose of vaccine but are not yet fully vaccinated, will be granted a grace period until January 31 to complete the vaccination regime, the ministry said.

During the grace period, they can enter their workplace with a negative PET result. (PTI)

12:48 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: 2 new COVID-19 cases in Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Andaman and Nicobar Islands logged two new COVID-19 cases, one more than the previous day, pushing the tally in the union territory to 7,714, a health department official said on Monday.

Two more persons recovered from COVID-19, taking the total number of recovered persons to 7,576 people, the official said.

The COVID-19 death toll in the archipelago remained at 129 as no fresh fatality was reported in the last 24 hours, he said.

The union territory now has nine active COVID-19 cases and all the patients are in the South Andaman district. The other two districts – North and Middle Andaman and Nicobar – are coronavirus free, the official said.

The administration has so far tested 6,60,536 samples for COVID-19 and the cumulative test positivity rate is 1.17 per cent.

A total of 5,89,563 beneficiaries have been inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine, of which 2,99,145 have received the first dose and 2,90,418 both doses of the vaccine, the official added. (PTI)

12:30 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Children in age group of 15-18 years to be able to register on CoWIN app from Jan 1

Children in the age group of 15-18 years will be able to register on the CoWIN app from Jan 1. We've added an additional (10th) ID card for registration – the student ID card because some might not have Aadhaar or other identity cards: Dr RS Sharma, CoWIN platform Chief (ANI)

12:25 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Mizoram reports 72 new COVID-19 cases, three fatalities

Mizoram reports 72 new COVID-19 cases, three fatalities. Infection tally rises to 1,40,564, death toll 539. The state currently has 1,399 active cases (PTI)

12:17 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Preparing to inoculate 15-18-year-olds from Jan 3 by organising vaccination drives at schools, says Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai

We are preparing to inoculate 15-18-year-olds from Jan 3 by organising vaccination drives at schools. PHCs asked to be prepared for administering 'precautionary dose' to those above 60 years of age with co-morbidities from Jan 10, 2022: Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai (ANI)

12:07 (IST) 27 Dec 2021
Coronavirus Live Tracker: Doing 20,000 tests instead of 10,000 in Chennai, says Tamil Nadu Health Secretary

In Chennai, we are now doing 20,000 tests instead of 10,000. We're following the containment guidelines and are telling the passengers coming from non-high-risk countries to be in-home quarantine: J Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary (ANI)